Bonnie Beyer, professor of educational administration and public administration, and Patricia Schlaff, special events manager for the Fairlane Center, have been chosen as recipients of the 31th annual Susan B. Anthony award at UM-Dearborn

April 27, 2009

DEARBORN / April 27, 2009---Bonnie Beyer, professor of educational administration and public administration at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Patricia Schlaff, special events manager for the university’s Fairlane Center, have been chosen by the campus's Commission for Women (CFW) as recipients of the 31th annual Susan B. Anthony award.

The annual award recognizes a member of the campus community who has made significant contributions to gender equality.

“This duality of the award this year is the second time it’s occurred in the long history of the Susan B. Anthony award program, and it speaks to the incredibly strong nominations we received, as well as the great affection that as been developed by the campus community for these women who are strong role models of the Susan B. Anthony motto, ‘Failure Is Impossible’,” according to mathematics lecturer Timothy McKenna, who serves on the CFW’s executive board.

Beyer and Schlaff were honored during a ceremony on April 9.

In recommending Beyer for the award, nominators said she encourages other women to take leadership roles through advising, discussions, and pointing out available opportunities.

“Bonnie was instrumental in bringing a population of women into the previously male-dominated MPA program,” nominators said.  “Many of these women have graduated and have gone on to become school leaders.  Bonnie was their professor and coach, encouraging them to compete with men and use their talents."

Beyer, who joined the UM-Dearborn faculty in 1995, served as associate dean of the School of Education from 2000-2006.  She has taught and conducted research on organizational leadership and development, K-12 school principalship, school and administrative law, public relations and curriculum development.

Beyer’s experience in K-12 education prior to her university career includes teaching and school administration in both regular and special education programs in public, nonprofit and parochial schools.     

“She strongly believes in and acts to support equity for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin or socio-economic conditions, in education, employment opportunities, and in personal interaction and activities," according to nominators.     

Beyer was recognized for her effort to remove barriers to women in education and the workplace with her numerous presentations at places like the Commission for Women Brown Bag Lunch Series, the annual Conference for Women in Educational Leadership, the Texas Council of Women School Executives, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Special Interest Group: Women in the Deanship, and the Michigan Women's Studies Association.

"Bonnie has made a significant contribution to our knowledge base regarding gender and gender stereotyping especially as it manifests itself in positions of organizational leadership and administration,” nominators noted.     

Schlaff, who coordinates special events at the Fairlane Center, began her UM-Dearborn career working in the front desk in the Office of Admissions.  “She went from managing a desk to managing an entire event facility," nominators noted.

"Her hospitality is outstanding, her professionalism represents excellence, her attitude is contagious and she approaches every task, role and responsibility as if it were her number one priority,” they added.

During her 30 years as a member of the UM-Dearborn community, Schlaff has been a constant, dedicated employee who has busied herself in various initiatives, always the first person to volunteer for programs, events and committees on campus, according to nominations.

For more than 10 years, she has been involved with “On the Move: College is an Option” (formerly Women on the Move: College is an Option), serving as the event’s co-chair for many years.  She also has been involved in the “Go Red for Women” committee; the Commission for Women; the CASL SOAR Advisory Board and Susan B. Anthony Planning Committee on campus.

In the community, Schlaff is a member of Soroptimist Fairlane Wayne County West and serves on the board of the Zaman International initiative.

"Trish is a great leader and an example of who I want to be,” said a nominator.  “I find myself looking to her for advice and wisdom in work and everyday life.  When I need advice (whether it be about school, work, family or friends) I find that she is the first person I go to because I know that with Trish, I will get the answer I need (even if it is something I do not want to hear)."     

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